ST. MARYS — A steady rain on Sunday could not dampen the spirits of local children as Santa Claus made his annual appearance in Memorial Park.
While the rain forced the postponement of Winterfest, dozens of children trickled into Santa’s house to visit with him after his long trek from the North Pole. Each entered and told Santa what he or she wanted for Christmas.
“It’s sparse because of the rain but they are coming in,” Santa told The Evening Leader. “We’ll talk to the kids while they are here today.”
Legos, Xbox video game consoles and dolls were among some of the popular items children listed for Santa. Before hearing their requests, Santa asked each child a series of questions.
“Before I start talking about toys, I ask them if they keep their room clean,” Santa said. “I ask them if they have been fighting this year.”
Santa also rattled off some common requests this year.
“They are asking for trains again, I am glad they are doing that because that’s quite a toy,” Santa said. “They are asking for toys that they make themselves. Everything seems to run in cycles. Dolls for the girls are popular.”
One little girl asked Santa for a drum set and an easel. However, she got stumped when Santa asked her how many reindeer he has in his stable.
“I have nine,” Santa said after the girl guessed eight. “A lot of people think there are eight but there are actually nine. He (Rudolph) is my lead reindeer. His nose lights up to guide my way.”
The event, including a parade and live nativity in Memorial Park, has been rescheduled for Dec. 18. Santa will be in his home in Memorial Park throughout the holiday season. Santa will be in his house the following dates: from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7; from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9; from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10; from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11; from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15; from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16; from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17; from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18; from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22; from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23.